Pakistani MMA Fighters Are Making Waves. And We Need To Support Them
For a cricket crazy nation like Pakistan, the thought of keeping up with a different sport is hard to come by. You would see a 5-year-old know names of most of the current Pakistani cricketers, but when it comes to others sports, even those who work in the field need a basic know-how.
The problems persists specially when government funding and publicity is solely, or mostly focused on cricket. While most sports continue to struggle in the country, Pakistan’s mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters are making good leaps both in national and international circuits.
Though not entirely making headlines, the country’s present prospects and future heroes are making audible noise.
Faizan Fayaz Wins Aspera FC Lightweight Champion
Last month, Pakistani fighter Faizan ‘The Hunter’ Fayaz made headlines after beating Philippines’ Lyndon Castillo in a dominant fashion for the ASPERA FC Asia Lightweight belt. It was Faizan’s superior wrestling that had him take control of the fight. He dedicated his victory to the people of Pakistan.
“This is for all the people of Pakistan, my coaches and my teams; Team Highlight Reel and KAKS Fight Club for all the support and InshaAllah, we will work towards further success,” he said.
Tayyab Usmani, Abbas Khan and Mehmosh Raza climbing atop
2018 saw rise of several MMA prospects from Pakistan.
One of them was Islamabad-based Mehmosh Raza who scored some huge wins in international organizations including Rebel FC in China and Brave Combat Federation, where he holds the record of the fastest finish via submission (21 seconds).
His next fight would be against ex-UFC star Rolando Dy at Brave CF 22 on March 15.
Tayyab Usmani also made an explosive start to his international career in Aspera FC as he beat Alfredo Melendres via submission in Round 1.
Ahmad Mujtaba Readies For India vs Pakistan
Pakistan and India are set to lock-horns in ONE Championship later this month on February 22 as the country’s most popular MMA star Ahmed Mujtaba takes on Rahul Raja.
Ahmed hails from Quetta and is the first Pakistani fighter to win international MMA gold abroad. Recently in an interview with Geo News, Ahmed spoke about the lack of government support for MMA fighters despite the success and pride they bring to Pakistan.
He thanked his coaches and sponsors for providing him with world class tools to compete at the best MMA promotions in the world.
His fight against Rahul would be extremely significant because it would be a huge step forward towards the ONE Featherweight title.
The division is arguably the most stacked in Asia with talents like Mujtaba himself, Christian Lee, Martin Nguyen, Marat Gafurov, Bruno Pucci among others.
The fight is expected to begin at 5pm Pakistan Standard Time and can be watched live on ONE Championship mobile app.